A unique book that focuses on the golden hour of sunset from around the world.
While most cookbooks focus on the main meal, and the courses either side of that, chef Stevan Paul has provided a wonderfully unique alternative to impressing your friends and savouring the moment yourself.
Focussing on that golden hour around the globe when the sun goes down, he lays out a hefty collection of recipes to graze upon as you gaze upon twilight.
From popcorn and hummus to more complex nibbles like mini-burgers, croquetas, soups and salads, the hard-bound book is divided into nations, with just a handful of suggestions from each. The introductory text for each country ranges from a small paragraph up to a full page that outlines Paul’s own experiences.
Countries include Australia, Samoa, Turkey, the UK and USA, Mexico, Hungary, Brazil, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Morocco… 24 destinations in all, covering western, Asian, South American European, and South Pacific cuisine. It’s an impressive variety.
The marvellous photographs by Daniela Haug lovingly capture the food and the scenery at sunset. It truly is beautiful photography that finds the magic in its focus.
While the two-column format for the recipes is fairly standard, the layout leaves a lot to be desired. Only some recipes offer a separated ingredients list, with others just adding the ingredients in bold text amidst the cooking instructions. The steps for cooking are often provided in one or more long paragraphs, making it difficult to follow and easy to lose one’s place. Thankfully, the outcome of the recipes make it worth the effort to follow them.
I do love the suggestions for drink or music to accompany some recipes, particularly when non-alcoholic alternatives are offered alongside the recipes for sangria or other drinks.
Overall, Dining at Dusk has a decent range of recipes, but the layout is poor and, with just a few recipes per country, it is very limited in its choices if you’re looking for a particular cuisine.
Lentil and Spinach Samosas (page 48)
OMG! Get off the phone and bite into one of these scrumptious snacks! The recipe makes eight, depending on how big you make your samosas. Traditionally, this India recipe is used to make the most of leftovers, but Paul’s recipe uses fresh ingredients such as cooked lentils, spinach, feta cheese and curry powder. There’s not a lot of ingredients but they certainly pack a punch when it comes to flavour and popularity. Best of all, they’re vegetarian friendly, and quite a filling opener to a meal or snack at sunset.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: April 2019